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NIST Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Newsletter - May 2021

NIST Inclusive Language Guidance Gets Attention of Standards Organizations

In late April, NIST released its Guidance for NIST Staff on Using Inclusive Language in Documentary Standards. Its purpose is to help NIST staff use inclusive language in developing documentary standards, in discussions, and in describing physical standards. The Guidance notes that inclusive language can help people from diverse backgrounds feel more welcome and foster high quality work. The Guidance addresses inclusive language for gender, race, and ethnicity, emphasizing “good usage” of words versus “common usage.” It also gives examples of biased terms to avoid and provides some illustrative alternatives. The Guidance is based on NIST Technical Series Publications Author Instructions, American Psychological Association Style Guide, and the Chicago Manual of Style. The Guidance also notes that several standards development organizations and corporations have also developed guidance on inclusive language.

Publication of the Guidance was announced in a NIST press release, and the Guidance has garnered the attention of such standards development organizations as ANSI, ASME and IETF. NIST’s Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office directly supported this effort and contributed to the publication.

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NIST Helps SEPA Develop a Framework for Integrating Electric Vehicles and Grid Operations

Electric vehicles (EVs) require new technical and business approaches. EVs are powered by the grid, which must always balance electricity supply and demand in real time even as variability increases and dispatchability declines across the system. The grid must manage a growing set of technologies and resources.  It is important to manage EV charging so that cars are charged when clean electricity is most available. It is equally important to avoid charging when the grid is congested or stressed by high electricity demand for other services.

With help from NIST's David Holmberg, the Smart Electric Power Alliance published An EV Managed Charging Framework: Simplifying Managed Charging with Energy Service Contracts. It offers one approach for integrating EV charging into grid planning and operations through energy service contracts as a mechanism to support information exchange between EVs and the grid. This information exchange would address the following questions:

  • Who are the service requestor and provider?
  • What power (active or reactive) is needed?
  • Where is service needed (e.g. a distribution substation or feeder)?
  • How much power is needed and what is the cost?
  • When is power needed?
  • How will power be provided, per the contract?

The publication provides use cases showing some opportunities and challenges associated with vehicle and grid interaction. SEPA plans to integrate this work into a broader set of activities focused on developing business and technical requirements for EV managed charging, including development of specifications for energy service contracts, protocol and other technical requirements for information exchange, and an implementation guide.

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Available Online: NIST Presentations on Smart Grid Framework 4.0 and Cybersecurity

NIST’s Avi Gopstein gave the presentations as part of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ February 2021 online cybersecurity training course for regulators and staff. The presentations are available online, posted April 21. The following provides summaries of the presentations, their links, and supporting documents:

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NIST Leader Participates in Nobel Prize Summit on Urban Sustainability

On April 28, 2021, NIST's Chris Greer participated in the virtual webinar, "Smart Cities and New Green Solutions,” hosted by the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C., the Nobel Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The webinar was opened by Dr. Marcia McNutt, President of the Academy, by the Italian Minister of University and Research, Dr. Maria Cristina Messa, and by the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Armando Varricchio. Dr. Stanley Whittingham, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Binghamton University and 2019 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, delivered keynote remarks. The event was reported in an Italian Embassy press release.

Greer was part of a panel of experts, which included Debra Lam from Georgia Tech, and Paola Malanotte-Rizzoli and Carlo Ratti from MIT, sharing research on smart cities. Greer provided the following examples of NIST-sponsored, Global City Teams Challenge projects being conducted by cities, large and small, across the U.S. and around the world:

  • Urban delivery: Two cities, working together, are exploring how autonomous vehicles and their transfer points can deliver packages and help build vibrant communities.
  • Urban transport: One city has partnered with a company on an on-call smart car project, with a secure, privacy protected, web-based service, enabling payment.
  • Citizen services: Another city is executing a multitude of smart projects, ranging from transportation, to citizen services, which includes Wi-Fi access, public safety and more.
  • Infrastructure and buildings: Partnered with a university and an energy company, one city is developing a smart grid, smart ports, intelligent transportation, and smart buildings.
  • Shared renewable energy solutions: A multi-city consortium is developing replicable, solutions for low-carbon transport and buildings and harnessing data for the good of residents.

When asked about how to achieve smart cities, Greer said, they depend on leaders with a vision for a better quality of life, a more workable environment for citizens, and a more sustainable environment for the world. He also said, participation of community residents in the envisioning, planning, and adopting of a smart city is the biggest driver. The webinar can be viewed online.

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NIST Paper Offers Ways for Communities to Get More Out of Disaster Resilience Investments

Planning for both disaster resilience and sustainability is a national priority, as exemplified by Presidential Executive Order 14008. Achieving these dual objectives involves investing to avoid disaster losses, improving infrastructure performance under stress, and generating sustainable revenue streams for communities in the process. How to do that is the subject of a recent paper, Resilience Dividends and Resilience Windfalls: Narratives That Tie Disaster Resilience Co-Benefits to Long-Term Sustainability, by NIST researchers published in Sustainability. It offers ways for communities to consider these dual objectives and get the most from disaster resilience investments. Specifically, it provides narratives and concepts to help motivate business cases that seek the co-benefits of pursuing long-term sustainability and resiliency solutions.

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Created September 17, 2021, Updated September 28, 2021